Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 – May 17 – Wising Up, … the Hard Way

Study from God’s Word Prov. 22: 17 – 21; Prov. 1: 1 – 7; Prov. 25: 1; Prov. 9: 10 – 12; Prov. 10: 27; Prov. 14: 2, 26-27; Prov. 15: 33; Prov. 29: 23; Prov. 28: 14; Prov. 3: 5 – 8; Prov. 14: 12 [16: 25]; Prov. 16: 3, 20; Prov. 18: 2, 4, 10; Prov. 19: 3; Prov. 20: 24; Prov. 21: 22; Prov. 26: 12; Prov. 28: 26; Prov. 29: 25; Prov. 15: 3; Prov. 16: 1, 4, 9, 33; Prov. 19: 21; Prov. 21: 30-31; Prov. 22: 12; Prov. 27: 1; Prov 13: 14; Prov. 15: 24; Prov. 16: 22: Prov. 17: 13; Prov. 24: 7, 13-14; Prov. 26: 4 – 11; Prov. 27: 22; Prov. 29: 9; Prov. 10: 13, 23; Prov. 13: 15; Prov. 14: 6, 8, 15, 33; Prov. 15: 21; Prov. 16: 16; Prov. 17: 24; Prov. 20: 5, 12; Prov. 10: 14; Prov. 13: 16; Prov. 14: 18; Prov. 15: 14; Prov. 18: 15; Prov. 19: 2; Prov. 20: 15; Prov. 21: 11; Prov. 23: 12; Prov. 24: 14 … Passage for Reflection: Proverbs 1: 7… NIV 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

My Journal for Today: The proverbs, which I read this morning and documented by number above, were pre-organized by Dr. Smith for the disciple’s study into various topics related to wisdom, … topics such as … The Purpose of the Proverbs, Fear of the Lord, Trust in God, Divine Providence, Wisdom Versus Folly, Dealing with Fools, Discernment and Understanding, and Knowledge. It would have taken me a long, long time to organize these proverbs into study topics like this; so I’m deeply indebted to the work F. LaGard Smith has done in his Daily Bible in Chronological Order so that seekers such as I can read through God’s Proverbs in topical order like this. It makes it so much easier to glean truth and personal application through such a study; and today’s highlight verse zeroes in on one truth which cannot – and must not – be ignored by disciples of Christ; and that is the connection between fear (i.e., “fear of the Lord”) and discipline.

Ugh! “Discipline!!!” That concept just seems to resonate with negative emotions, doesn’t it? We think of being afraid of our parents when we were naughty because of the “discipline” which might (and often did) result. Or we think of all that dedication and “discipline” an Olympic athlete, like a Michael Phelps, had to have to become a Gold Medal winner, … let alone one who wins eight of those suckers.

Yes, “discipline” seems such a hard thing to take; and the concept of “fear,” also found in today’s highlight passage, is another concept which resonates with negative. Yet, like “discipline,” the idea of fear can have enormously positive implications. It is fear of harm which keeps us from doing impulsive and foolish things, isn’t it (or shouldn’t it be)? And it is “fear” and “discipline” which, when applied to one’s life, leads one to excellence, as it did for Phelps swimming for all those gold medals.

So, the question becomes, “How do I apply the FEAR OF THE LORD to my life in a way that I will apply the DISCIPLINE I need to obey Him, serve Him, and glorify Him?” And that’s a matter of faith and belief, isn’t it? If we believe God’s word, which implies the discipline of knowing God’s truth from His word, we will do what God says; and that requires the discipline to read, learn, and apply the precepts found in the Bible to our lives. My challenge has always been CHOOSING to believe that the outcomes are worth the effort it takes to reverence my God – through His truth – enough to dig it out, interpret it for my life, and then to apply it to what I choose to do. And in that process I will become a worthy and effective DISCIPLE (the core of “discipline”) for Christ … OR NOT!!!

I can only pray that I believe and choose to live as a Proverbs 1: 7 disciple of Christ, making Him the Lord all I think, say, and do.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, You know my heart; and I do fear You because I know how much You have loved me by dying for me. And oh, how my reverence leads me to know You more today than yesterday … and even more tomorrow than today. Amen

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